Ballerina Kang Sue-jin, a principal dancer at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, gave a special lecture to 350 students from seven middle and high schools in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, at the Seongnam Arts Center on April 26. It was part of a special teacher program sponsored by the Korea Arts and Culture Education Service.
"Procrastination never works, neither in ballet nor in your studies," she told them. "I competed against myself, not others, and I enjoyed seeing myself improve little by little every day." Asked how she has overcome difficulties in her life, Kang said, "Your body always aches when you dance, so I came to befriend pain. Difficulties are normal for me."
"When your life is trouble-free, you don't appreciate it fully when you have something to be happy about. Life is a cycle. A downhill ride comes after an uphill struggle. I'm grateful for small things that make me happy. Of course, sometimes I cry because I have to start all over again."
Having lived abroad for 30 years, it was the first time in a long times that she spent her birthday, April 23, in Korea. "My colleagues call me a machine. But I can rest all I want when I lie down in my grave," she said.
She said the goal of her life was to live each day to the fullest. "The most terrible thing to me was loneliness," she said. "I feel I'm progressing little by little as I age, so I like getting old. I don't want to be young again." "What is important is to go step by step," she told her listeners. "Slow and steady wins the race, so don't rush but go like a turtle. You'll eventually see your hard work pay off."